Tesco plans mortgage launch by end of year

Tesco Bank has confirmed plans to launch a mortgage range by the end of 2010 as it looks to build the brand into a fully-fledged retail bank.

Tesco says it aims to launch mortgage and savings products by the end of 2010, with current accounts to follow in 2011.

Tesco made the statement in its annual accounts published today, which shows that subsidiary Tesco Bank reported a pre-tax profit of £114m, down 40% from 2008’s figures.

Profits at the supermarket’s banking arm, which rebranded from Tesco Personal Finance last October, took a hit following the acquisition of the remaining 50% stake in the business from Royal Bank of Scotland in 2008.

Tesco’s retail services division, which includes Tesco Bank, grew its customer accounts by more than 400,000 in the last year to over 6.2 million across all products.

It has seen a 27% growth in personal loans while the number of insurance policies has remained broadly flat.

Overall retail services made a £250m trading profit, compared to £221m for 2008/2009.

The company has also revealed it has secured new premises for banking and insurance services in Glasgow and Newcastle which are set to open around June this year.